2008SakuraFestival
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SAKURA FESTIVAL CELEBRATES
INTERNATIONAL FRIENDSHIP

Clark College students wear Japanese kimonos as part of the 2008 Sakura Festival.
Clark College students wear Japanese kimonos as part of the 2008 Sakura Festival.

Since they were planted in 1990, the cherry trees at Clark College have brought beauty and the symbolism of international friendship to the college and the community. On Thursday, April 17, Clark College hosted its third annual “Sakura Festival,” a celebration of the cherry blossoms that bloom each spring on the college’s main campus.

Clark College President Bob Knight welcomes guests to the 2008 Sakura FestivalThe celebration included presentations by Clark College and regional high school students who recently traveled to Vancouver’s sister city, Joyo, Japan.

College and community officials, including Clark College President Bob Knight (seen, in the photo on the left, welcoming guests), Vancouver Mayor Royce Pollard, former Vancouver Mayor Bruce Hagensen, and Consul General of the Portland Japanese Consulate Akio Egawa, participated in a brief program outside O’Connell Sports Center.

“The cherry blossoms represent the close relationship between Vancouver and Joyo, Japan,” said Mr. Egawa. “I thank Vancouver and Clark College for caring for the gift of these trees.”

Consul General of the Portland Japanese Consulate Akio Egawa stops for a photo with Jan Asai, who displayed her personal collection of Japanese keepsakes.
Consul General of the Portland Japanese Consulate Akio Egawa (right) stops for a photo with Jan Asai, who displayed her personal collection of Japanese keepsakes.

City Council member Tim Leavitt read a congratulatory address from Joyo Mayor Hashimoto Akio, which said in part, “Since the City of Vancouver and Joyo City became sister cities on October 30, 1995, we have enjoyed many cultural and social exchanges…I am glad that the people in our two cities fully enjoy the sister city relationship.”

Students and visitors alike enjoyed cherry dessert, prepared by the Clark College Culinary Arts program.

Students and visitors alike enjoyed cherry dessert, prepared by the Clark College Culinary Arts program.

Following the program, attendees were treated to cherry dessert, arts and crafts, games and haiku writing.

Yukiko Vossen performed three selections of traditional Japanese music on the koto, a stringed instrument.
Yukiko Vossen performed three selections of traditional Japanese music on the koto, a stringed instrument.

On Earth Day 1990, a gift of 100 Shirofugen cherry trees from John Kageyama, president of America Kotobuki, was presented to the City of Vancouver to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Washington’s statehood. The trees were planted on Clark College’s main campus in Vancouver’s Central Park. The Sakura Festival is sponsored by Clark College’s International and Continuing Education programs, in partnership with the downtown Vancouver Rotary Club.


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